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01st Apr 2020

#SocialDistancing: The Oprah-approved self-help trick that will make you feel instantly calmer

“Do I have a problem right now, this second?”

It’s an undeniably scary time for the world, a time when we can’t see our loved ones and many of us have lost our jobs or had our pay substantially cut. We’re worried about our friends and families, worried about our health, worried about paying our rents, worried about whether life will ever go back to normal… With so much weighing on our minds, anxiety can easily overwhelm us. So what do you do if you find that you’re caught up in a panic? Marianne Power is the author of Help Me!,  a funny and touching book that charted her year-long deep dive into the world of self help. For her experiment, she followed a different book to the letter each month to see whether self-help could really be the key to improving her finances, her love life, and her state of mind.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of self-help, Her asked Marianne what to do to help keep calm during the Coronavirus crisis. Her top tip was to follow the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle – author of one of the most influential self-help books ever, The Power of Now. Tolle is a favourite of Oprah, who also subscribes to his ‘in the moment’ thinking and has had him as guest on her show many times. You can watch the video of Marianne explaining how to use Tolle’s thinking to calm your mind and do a ‘body scan’ that will focus your attention on the present moment above. It all starts with asking yourself a simple question: do I have a problem right now, this second? No matter how bad things are looking in your life, when you break things down to the immediate moment chances are the answer is ‘no’. That approach will help you to calm down and assess how you can deal with problems when they do arise.

“Eckhart Tolle says that we worry so much about bad things happening, but when the bad things happen we often amaze ourselves with how well we just seton with it and we handle it,” Marianne says. “It’s kind of extraordinary that life goes on.”

So, any time you feel yourself spiralling in the next few weeks, take a step back and ask yourself how immediate your problem really is. Marianne blogs about her experiences with self-help and other things that impact our emotional wellbeing here. For more videos like this, be sure to follow us on Instagram.